I don’t normally make a habit of complaining about my life. But sometimes there are days where so many things happen all at once that it’s impossible to comprehend everything. Today is one of those days, and for the most part the complications are minor. However, what bothers me the most, I think, is the fact that I know my mother is three hours away, having a really hard day.
She called me this morning in a near panic to tell me that she’d gone to give my grandmother (an 88-year-old Alzheimer’s patient) a bath, and discovered that the medication she’s on for congestive heart failure apparently isn’t working. My grandmother is in bad shape, and right now, with all of the family we have, my mother is the one taking care of her.
Like I said, she’s an Alzheimer’s patient… when you upset their routines, they get lost. And she gets lost a lot now. She’s mostly unable to walk, she doesn’t remember anyone, and she’s left alone for large portions of the day.
When someone in this situation gets lost, they don’t often find their way back.
Sometimes my family makes me angry. They all seem to take her for granted. They’ve built this romantic picture of a sweet, little lady sitting in her rocking chair. Yeah, that’s pretty much what she does, because she doesn’t know how to do anything else anymore. She sits in that chair and cries because nobody calls and nobody comes to see her. She doesn’t understand that all of her children are scattered across the world. And she has no idea who most of them are anymore because it’s been years since she has seen them.
I get angry because they take her fro granted. Because she is the only grandparent I have ever known. The other three passed away long before I was born. I never knew great-grandparents. And my child will probably never get the chance to meet her. I want that moment, more for me than anything, where I can lay my newborn child in my grandmother’s arms and know that she got to hold her youngest great-grandchild at least once.
And according to the conversation I just had with my mother, I might not get that. I want it more than anything, but I’m also a realist. I also know that I have almost five months to go, and I don’t want my grandmother to suffer for that long just so I can have that one selfish moment. If it’s her time, then I want her to go peacefully, and without pain. I’d rather let her go and keep my happy memories than see her get worse.
And if any of my family happens to read this, I hope they take the hint and give her a call. I hope they go see her. She’s in Roper Hospital downtown. Any of them know what that means. I hope they go see her, because the odds are good that there won’t be another chance.
I’ll be down there in the morning. I just hope it’s not too late.